Election Day Employee Leave Q&A

SAANYS has received a number of questions regarding the law allowing for up to three hours of leave time for employees to vote. Below are answers to the most common questions. Should you have additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact the SAANYS Legal Department at Khoggan@saanys.org

Q. Can the employer require an employee to confirm that he/she is a registered voter?  
A.  No. According to the New York State Board of Elections, an employer may not ask for proof of registration.
Q.  When does the employee need to notify the employer of exercising his/her rights under the new law? 
A.  Election Law 3-110 requires notice be sent “not less than two working
days” (as opposed to calendar days).
Q.  Can an employer limit voting leave time to less than the three hours and /or request justification for the requested leave?
A.  The New York State Board of Elections has indicated that an employer may not limit the time requested by the employee to less than three hours. As noted by the Civil Service Department, an “employer runs the risk of running afoul of this statute” if asking for an explanation of why it will take three hours and/or demanding prior supervisor approval for more than one hour.”